In a sentence, that's what I want.
When I wake to the scratch of falling sleet, and the copper oak leaves stand out against the birches, the changing season is magic, and I want someone to share it with.
I want to talk and stretch ideas. Join me in geekery. I'm unabashedly smart and glad to be challenged, glad to admit what I don't know, buoyed by all I do know. Islamic Spain, ghazals, names of mushrooms, mitochondria, the things I want to know expand infinitely.
Teach, listen, build: I want to make and play with these things. I have written a novel and am working on another. Writing makes me feel alive; I write to get close to experiences, to translate emotion, to learn. I write simply because I love the feel of it, for the same reason I keep my hair long.
Music can work the same way. I can play contradance music by ear sometimes. I've camped under white pines with 200 people and played and danced along a lake shore. Because it's dance music shared orally, a lot of it has a simple structure, and I'm a rollicking amateur. But sitting on the grass and feeling the music in the soles of your feet, feeling it lift and swing in response to what you play, is an exultation.
A dairy farm has shaped me, and an octagonal cabin on the coast, and curious, rigorous, generous parents. I can ride a horse and drive a tractor and throw a hay bale. In a flat calm, I can persuade a row boat across a cove. I walk in zig zags and stop to touch and smell and feel and kick up leaves. Do you remember how to jump into a leaf pile? Do you remember the prick of leaves against your skin?
There's so much to taste and feel and smell and say. I'd travel anywhere — I've driven cross country, stood in redwood rings, seen the roller dams raised over the Mississippi. The question shouldn't be where you go, but how you go. And I would go or stay at a quick, active walking pace, quick enough to feel my blood moving and enjoy the motion, slow enough to see where I was. But I love living where I live, in these hills.
Would you come with me to the rocks by the sea at moonrise when the cormorants and eider ducks are feeding, and stand quietly enough to see a harbor seal? Would you walk through city streets and poke into a seller of maps and try bubble tea, and wonder who first settled here, and who built the cisterns on the roofs? Would you try a small restaurant where the owners make their own ricotta cheese — and talk with them? A vacation means rest, and I can rest this way.
You ask who I am. I'm a novelist and a poet. I'm learning to write in third person omnicient because I never do anything the easy way. I'm a journalist in the country. I spend my days learning why artists and singers and welders and mycologists love what they love and trying to build community. I'm a small, stubborn New Englander. I'm happy and close to my family and damn lucky.
What am I looking for? Someone who will talk with me and listen with me. Someone who can relax with me. Someone who'll grab hands with me and spin in circles. Someone who will understand why I would rather read or walk or bake or do something tangible than watch television. (I like movies, especially the kind that show people finding confidence, and I can quote most of Princess Bride back at you. But I already don't have enough time to do all I want to do.)
Someone who agrees that responsibility is a deep pleasure and who will lighten me when I sound too serious and pelt me with snowballs. Someone who will play word games and laugh out loud and beat me at scrabble, and my brother and sister too. An equal.
I want to hold and be held. My family taught me to share space and negotiate and make treasure hunts and sing while I wash the dishes and work out fights and stay present with someone crying and ease someone sick and face the hard talks and throw tennis balls for the dog, and I miss it.
I know how it feels to want a friend fearlessly, wholly. I want that feeling back.